AAU Region 13 Recap: Out Of Towners Take Center Stage

The incomparable Moriah Dixon anchors her Ohio Heat Track & Field Club mates in the 12-year-old girls' 4x100 relay 


Illinois has the Flyers, Indiana brought the Storm, Michigan has the calmness of Ann Arbor, but Ohio brought the heat as in the Ohio Heat Track Club. It was a full display from the youth through the high school boys and girls divisions that produced some amazing performances all weekend at Benedictine University. There is no doubt the bar was raised for the competitors as they seek to advance to Greensboro, North Carolina for the national championships at the end of the month.


This was the second official day of competition but the first full state of competition. The key event was the 200-meter dash prelims and only the top eight in each age group would advance to the final on Friday. As expected a ton of fast times were produced under presumably favorable wind conditions. For the girls, it was Moriah Dixon of Ohio producing a fleeting 26.22 in the 12-year-old division. Lalia Ukawuba of the Aurora Flyers dropped a fast 25.73 to lead the 13-year-olds. It was one of the nation's top middle-schoolers Lailah Green of the Aurora Flyers charging in the 14-year-old sector 25.19. Ohioan Olivia Pace is one of the best sprinters in the midwest and she made her presence known in the 15-16-year-old group, rolling 24.93. Sophia Yovanovich of Zionsville, Indiana produces the top time across all divisions, embarking 24.58 in the 17-19 division.

The boys side of the 200m game was especially strong in the upper divisions. Myson Johnson-Cook of Decatur, IL previously made a name for himself in the state round with a resounding win. Now, it's time to tangle with kids from other states and he roared home the top seed in the 14-year-old group with an easy 23.44. The popular challenger DJ Young of the Aurora Flyers wins his heat in 23.45. These two are clearly the top competitors of their age. Andrew Mitchell and Xavier McCoy of Ohio dropped the fastest times in the 15-16-year-old category 22.03 and 22.10. The biggest buzz came from the 17-19 group in which eight of the nine qualifiers broke 22 seconds. All-American stud Trevin Moyer of the Ohio Heat clocked a blazing 21.29 to cruise into the finals.


Prelims continue here but also a slate of finals is on the schedule. The 200s started the morning and Dixon lowered her leading 12-year-old time to 25.95 and punched her ticket to nationals. Ukawuba took the track and clocked 26.03 for the 13-year-old win. There was no challenge for Green in the 14 yr old as he won by almost a second in 25.20. Pace nearly matched her prelim from the 15-16 age group with a 24.96. Yovanovich did the same in the 17-19 division with 24.88.

The boys completed their final rounds starting with notables Zaven Johnson of the Illinois-located Legacy Runners Elite Track Club, clocking a PB 26.09 in the 12-year-old boys. Johnson-Cook still has not run full throttle. He trotted home in 23.05 and over a half-second ahead of Young for the 14-year-olds. McCoy returned back to blast the 15-16-year-olds in 22.38. Keep in mind there was a headwind (and weather delay), opposite of the prelims. Moyer led four boys in the 17-19 under 22.00 with a sweet 21.47.

In the girl's 100m prelims, Dixon was the first one under 13-seconds in the 12-year-old division with a 12.85. Morgan Chestnut of the Indiana Storm Track Club ran 12.87 for the 14-year-old lead. Pace did not have any issues in the 15-16 grouping with 12.11.  Angel Thomas of South Bend, IN likewise was victorious in the 17-19 league at 12.21.

The boys stood tall in the 100m prelims. Johnson-Cook was the first competitor under twelve seconds with the 14-year-old age group, rocking 11.54. Dominic Calhoun of the Indiana Storm TC rolled 11.36 ahead of McCoy's 11.41 in the 15-16 league.  Braxton Brann of Ann Arbor, MI ran 10.93 and was the only competitor under eleven seconds in the 17-19 league.

WATCH THE THRILLING 17-19 year old boys 400m with US#1 Justin Braun!


The final day ushered in warm climes from the moment the gun blasted off at 9a. Hannah Durrant of the Elgin Sharks ran a solid 4:46.83 to win the 1500m (17-19 age). 

The girls 400m finals saw Chloe Yates of the Ohio Heat TC dropped under 60-seconds with a 59.80 in the 12-year-old division. The star of the event was Lailah Green who among the 14-year-olds did not leave even a crumb for her competitors to pick up. Green blasted out of the blocks and broke stagger right away and won going away in 55.86- almost three seconds ahead of the field. Cambell Wamsley of Carmel, Indiana needed a PB and a late charge to win the final race of the day in 55.95 in the 17-19 group. Eight of the nine boys 17-19 competitors broke 50 seconds. Three of them were under 48 seconds. The superstar and USC-bound Justin Braun of the Ohio Heat teased the fans with a 47.01 thriller.

The hurdles started with Ana-liese Torian of Homewood-Flossmoor getting a late start because of a misstep on her takeoff foot in the girls 100HH. She was able to roar to the finish in 14.02. On the male side, Jonathon Richardson of the Ohio Heat TC easily won the 110HH in 14.09.

Pace won the girls 15-16 100m in a near PB 11.75. She was pleased with the effort despite dealing with nagging injuries. Yovanovich held off Thomas 12.10-11 for the 17-19 age group win. Brann turned up the gas in the 17-19-year-old boys division, blazing 10.67,